WORKING WITH DG ECHO AS AN NGO PARTNER
THE HUMANITARIAN AID MODEL GRANT AGREEMENT (HA MGA) FOR NGOS
Credit: ECECHO Viktorija Jeras
Commission Decision of 12 June 2020 (C(2020)3759 final) imposes a new corporate model grant agreement (MGA) on all Commission services as from January 2021. DG ECHO has worked intensively with the central services on adapting the corporate template to the needs of humanitarian actions and the discussions have been finalised recently. Then IT implementation has followed. Although this work is still ongoing, and some minor changes may follow the results of testing, the draft HA MGA is published here for your information.
The format is different from the current DG ECHO grant agreement, because it follows the corporate needs related to the IT system it has been designed for (e-grants system). However, the rules are similar to the grant agreement and general conditions used under the current FPA. The HA MGA contains specific and general conditions in one document. The humanitarian specificities are addressed in the Annex 5, which contains alternative arrangements (derogations) on visibility requirements and specific rules for carrying out an action, including a sanctions clause. The template can be used for both mono- and multibeneficiary grants. The latter will have to be used in DG ECHO actions coordinated by certified partners in consortium with other certified partners.
The structure of the HA MGA is as follows:
Data sheet = «specific» part of the agreeement
Chapters 1-6 «general» part of the agreement
Annex 1: Description of the action (e-Single Form)
Annex 2: Budget (corporate template adjusted)
Annex 3: Accession form for multibeneficiary’s action
Annex 4: Financial statement model
Annex 5: Specific rules for humanitarian aid
Many changes concern the wording used in the grant agreement: in that respect DG ECHO has to follow the corporate pattern. Some examples are listed below (old vs. new):
- Beneficiaries = final recipients,
- Partners = (grant) beneficiaries,
- Implementing partners = third parties (receiving financial support),
- Reporting not linked to payment, e.g. interim reports =continuous reporting
- Reporting linked to payment = periodic reporting
- World Wide Decision/HIPs = Financing decisions
The new HA MGA contains also some important changes for partners such as
- Justification for financial support to third parties above EUR 60 000
- Simplified procurement (beneficiary’s usual purchasing practices apply)
- Possibility to have a multibeneficiary agreement
- No derogations from exchange rate
- Personnel cost calculation
- Difference between purchase of goods/services and subcontracting
- Sanctions clause (which clearly refers to the fact that DG ECHO partners are not expected to vet final beneficiaries).
Many of the remaining rules are unchanged, for instance:
- Eligibility of cost
- Report keeping and audits
- Visibility derogation
- Standards for medical supplies, devices and food (see reference document available below)
- Intellectual Property Rights
- Data protection
DURATION OF THE HA MGA
Please note that the HA MGA as published here is a result of several adjustments of the corporate MGA not only to the humanitarian aid specificities, but also to the possibilities of the current DG ECHO IT systems and internal procedures. It had been developed to produce grant agreements according to the new corporate model as soon as necessary in 2021. This version of the HA MGA will be used until the moment when DG ECHO on-boards the corporate e-grants system.
Concerning HA MGA budget template in Annex 2, it will be published very soon together with operational budget details required by the Single Form.